The crew’s vessel, PTF-26, also known as Liberty, was the last boat of its kind to serve in the Navy during the Vietnam War, and now Liberty is a training base for the Sea Scout crew. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t get out on the water for some fun. This Saturday, the Tiki Too crew will help maneuver Liberty through Fleet Week’s Parade of Ships. On Sunday, the girls will be available to chat with visitors about their program and the ship they train on.
“This weekend’s Fleet Week will be really exciting,” said Sierra Baca, a Freedom High School student and crew member for a year. “Our boat, the Liberty, will be docked at Pier 45 and people can come see it and learn all about it. The Blue Angels will also be there, so it should be an exciting time. I hope to see lots of people there.”
The crew consists of Baca, Allegra Buch, Sabrina Caster, Jessica Curiel, Kayla DelaTorre, Selina Martin, Katie McCrummen, Liz Morine, Sam Morine, Cierra Stevens and Anna Subias. Mary Eldridge, Kalia Kaddoura, Britnee Panell and Alicia Turner are also members of the crew, but they’re off at college and don’t train regularly with the crew, which meets twice a week to practice.
Captain Jim West, who is both the director of the Liberty Maritime Museum and the Tiki Too skipper, said the girls have been hard at work preparing Liberty for her voyage to the Bay, cleaning, painting and managing engineering preparations for the weekend. When they’re not polishing the ship, the girls are preparing for regattas – sea scout competitions that include events such as rowing, sailing, rope climbing and knot tying.
True to Liberty’s spirit, the girls must also know historic maritime skills such as breeches buoy and hoisting the scuttlebutt. West said Tiki Too is the most successful Sea Scout group in Northern California, taking 14 first-place awards last season.
Liz Morine, a Freedom High School student, said she enjoys being a part of the crew because of all the activities she gets to participate in with the team, whether it’s cruising to the Channel Islands or preparing the ship for events such as Fleet Week. Even the regatta competitions are fun because they’re working together.
West hopes to recruit four new active members for next season. Girls between the ages of 13 and 17 who are interested in learning more about the sea scout program should call crew member Katie McCrummen at 925-978-7082. For more information about Liberty, visit www.libertymaritime.org.